Non-Stop by Brian W. Aldiss

Non-stop (1956) is a science fiction book written by Brian Aldiss, a British Author. Briefly, it is set in a very large space ship which was formerly occupied by colonists, who had set out from Earth to another planet. A cataclysm had taken place, and many years later the ship has overgrown with vegetation and several distinct groups of humans occupy different levels of the ship; some of them more primitive than the others.

Here, Aldiss looks at the way people in closed societies behave and think; in terms of language, religion, and customs. However Non-stop is not purely a philosophical novel, but also a riveting adventure plot, as the book’s protagonist, Roy, leaves his familiar surroundings to explore the world around him and find a greater truth.

This is done in a compelling way, as the author unravels the mystery of Roy’s surroundings. Furthermore, there is a complement of minor characters whose presence adds a texture which prevents the novel from being po-faced. In particular, the overweight, pompous, and garrulous priest-figure is a delight. This, alongside Aldiss’ eloquent prose, makes Non-stop a good read that is thought-provoking and entertaining.

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